Childhood obesity results in early onset of arthritis

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

New Delhi [India], May 7 (ANI): Obesity, which is assuming epidemic proportions among children, is proving too much on their delicate bones and joints. It is also a huge drag on the growing bone limbs and counteracts its growth, which continues through adolescence to the rest of life, resulting to early onset of arthritis. So, childhood is the right time to intervene, if extra fat interferes with healthy weight trajectory. If left uncontrolled, it perpetuates forever, because obesity is a very elusive medical condition. In addition to being the cause of early arthritis among older people and kids, obesity is a potential risk for many other ailments including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Orthopaedicians say, too much weight can seriously impact the growth and health of bones, joints, and muscles among children. Bones grow in size and strength during childhood. Extra weight can damage the growth plates - the area at the end of the body's arm, leg and other long bones where the cartilage tissue develops. Growth plates regulate the length and shape of a bone at full growth. According to them, too much weight places excess pressure on the growth plate, which can lead to early arthritis, a greater risk for broken bones, and other serious conditions. Studies suggest every kilogram of additional weight exerts close to 1.8 kilograms of extra pressure on the knees. For instance, if a person is 10 kilograms overweight, his knees will have 18 kilograms of extra pressure. Osteoarthritis is a common joint condition that most often affects the knee, hip, or back. Extra kilos places extra pressure on these joints and wears away the cartilage (tissue cushioning the joints) that normally protects them. Dr Aashish Chaudhry, a renowned orthopedic surgeon and managing director of Aakash Healthcare, says, "Exercise is essential for the good bone health. It strengthens the muscles around the joints, helps in maintaining the bone strength, better joint function, keeps the extra kilos under control and improves the overall quality of life." Adding, "Vitamin D deficiency has been found to be a potent risk factor in ailments namely cancer, heart conditions, blood pressure, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, infertility and depression. People should also get their Vitamin D levels checked, and take supplements whenever necessary, since the sunshine vitamin also helps in maintaining good bone health." (ANI)